May 4, 2021

Why Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope

By Nate Cohn

1,476 words

Voters of color make up an increasing percentage of the United States electorate, but that trend isn’t hurting Republicans as much as conservatives fear.

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Refreshed on May 14, 2021 at 8:50:39 am

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  1. Why Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope
  2. Analysis: Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope
  3. Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope

Revisions

May 14, 2021 at 8:50 am CHANGED
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  It’s often said that Latino voters aren’t a monolith, and that’s certainly true. While Hispanic voters back Democrats by overwhelming margins in blue states like New York and Illinois, Republicans are often far more competitive among Latinos and members of other non-Black minority groups in red states — including those Democrats now hope to flip like Texas or Florida.
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  Texas and Florida really would be blue if Latinos voted like their counterparts in New York or Illinois. But instead, Latino population growth has not quite had a strong pro-Democratic punch in the states where the party hoped to land a knockout blow.
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- At the same time, white voters are easy to overlook as a source of Democratic gains, give that these voters still support Republicans by a comfortable margin. But Democrats probably improved from 39 to 43 percent among white voters from 1988 to 2020. It’s a significant shift, and perhaps even enough to cover the entirety of Mr. Bush’s margin of victory in the 1988 election, without any demographic change whatsoever.
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+ At the same time, white voters are easy to overlook as a source of Democratic gains, given that these voters still support Republicans by a comfortable margin. But Democrats probably improved from 39 to 43 percent among white voters from 1988 to 2020. It’s a significant shift, and perhaps even enough to cover the entirety of Mr. Bush’s margin of victory in the 1988 election, without any demographic change whatsoever.
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  It’s a little easier to see the significance of Democratic gains among white voters at the state level. According to AP/Votecast data, Mr. Biden won white voters in states worth 211 electoral votes. Democrats like Jimmy Carter in 1976, Michael Dukakis in 1988 or John Kerry in 2004 probably didn’t win white voters in states worth much more than 60 electoral votes, based on exit poll and other survey data.
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  Mr. Biden even won white voters in many of the states where the growing diversity of the electorate is thought to be the main source of new Democratic strength, including California and Colorado. And he also won white voters in many big, diverse states across the North where Republicans used to win and where nonwhite demographic change might otherwise be considered the decisive source of Democratic strength, like Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland, which voted almost entirely Republican at the presidential level throughout the 1980s.

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Headlines

  • Why Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope
  • Analysis: Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope
  • Rising Diversity Might Not Help Democrats as Much as They Hope

Tags

  • Biden, Joseph R Jr
  • Census
  • Democratic Party
  • Minorities
  • Population
  • Presidential Election of 2020
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Republican Party
  • Trump, Donald J
  • United States
  • United States Politics and Government
  • Whites